UPDATE – Oh, and I’ve offered a few possible solutions for MPs here.
UPDATE – Oh, and I’ve offered a few possible solutions for MPs here.
Meanwhile (just in case you missed the update) Greer has graciously decided to completely fail to answer my question. Again.
He won’t answer my emails (he’ll probably bitch about the number of emails I sent him, ignoring the fact that there are only so many of them because he refused to respond to any of them, as he has done many times in the past), I’m banned from leaving comments on his site (for daring to insist that he follow his own damn rules)… so what’s a blogger to do?
Well, blog about it, I suppose.
If you would like to know if Iain Dale actually left that comment and the comments that followed, perhaps you’d care to be obsessive enough to get in touch and ask him for an answer to an entirely reasonable and pretty bloody time-sensitive question: firstname.lastname@example.org
[The address is not spam-blocked, because Iain can’t be bothered to do this himself on his own site, so there’s no point my bothering with it.]
>> News in Briefs << MPs could learn from The Sun The 'news in briefs' column on page 3 in the Sun yesterday reported that Keeley, 21 from Bromley, supports the crackdown on MPs employing family members: "MPs should not be able to employ whoever they like and pay them as much as they want to. There has to be some kind of controls put in place." As usual, Keeley was snapped by Alison Webster, who takes all the photos for page 3. She is married to the Sun's executive picture editor Geoff Webster, and they are the loving parents of Charlotte, who goes by the name of Jak, 21, from Tunbridge Wells, when she makes her own appearances on page 3.
Hypocrisy? From the Sun? Heavens, no.
Also, I’d like it noted for the record that – even though I haven’t been blogging about it much lately – I have been
obsessive diligent enough to source and retain copies of Page 3 editorial activity over recent months.
If you’d like an overview of that activity, it is as follows:
They appeared to go all quiet and fluffy when Murdoch Junior was set to take over the reigns* of News International (an appointment that was almost certainly based on merit alone) and made a bold return as soon as he was in place.
[UPDATE – *Originally an error from my spill-chucker, but it makes a nice pun, so I’ll leave it. After all, this is how royal families get started. Royal families that seem to think they have a God-given right to rule. You know, like the
Saxe-Coburg-Gothas Windsors, the Bushes, the Clintons… and last time I checked, Rupert Murdoch was agin it. Or at least some of it.]
I just did. I’m #7012, me.
I recently put this to Shane Greer:
You did not merely express an opinion, you billed me as a ‘psycho reader’, dismissed every concern I might have about conduct in the blogosphere as an invention of a hate-filled mind, declared me to be “obviously unbalanced” and grouped me with a convicted stalker.
To defend this action of yours, you will need to produce evidence beyond your perception of the situation.
Important question coming up…
Can you do this?
Shane did not answer my question, and he actually appears to have deleted my follow-up comment where I press him for an answer:
I mention this because I’m not going to let it lie, this is generally the point at which the person who has published a personal attack against me plays the victim, and you may want to make popcorn.
UPDATE (3:15pm) – Heh. Suddenly, my comment is published. The conversation continues from here.
Here’s the top story from the latest edition of our local newspaper:
For those of you in the cheap seats, that headline reads; MP paid her husband for £13,000 of Westminster work
(And you may recall that another Tory MP, Derek Conway, recently experienced some difficulty over a sum somewhere in the region of £40,000.)
Here’s the guts of that article:
MP Anne Milton has employed her husband and paid him £13,000 since coming to office, it has been revealed. The Tory shadow minister for health has hired spouse Graham Henderson in each of her first two years in Westminster. Between 2005 and 2006, he earned £6,500 from Ms Milton’s expenses as a researcher while the former nurse was setting up her office. During the following 12 months, Mr Henderson was paid £5,500, again to carry out research and answer e-mails on behalf of his wife. For his regular job, he is a doctor who works three days a week. Ms Milton said: “In 2005 I was setting up my office and I did not even have an office for the first six weeks. I only had a researcher. The following year, it would be far to say that I was incredibly busy on the hospital campaign and he did quite a lot of research for me, including on health, as well an answering e-mails and drafting letters. In the last year, my husband has worked for me and he has not been paid for it.”
OK, out comes my fisking tool… let’s slice and dice:
MP Anne Milton has employed her husband and paid him £13,000 since coming to office, it has been revealed.
£13,000? But only last Sunday, Milton was saying this:
The Sunday Times – Disorder, disorder!: Anne Milton, the Tory MP, gave her husband Graham Henderson a one-off payment of £5,500 last March for doing reading for her, as part of a local health campaign. “I paid my husband retrospectively for some work he had done. It was mostly reading, doing notes for me,” she said.
For further indication of how forthright she’s being with this latest statement, check out this earlier article, also from our local newspaper, where she explains the steep rise in her expenses by saying that she hired a new employee last year after being understaffed for her first 12 months in office… while completely failing to mention that her husband was a new addition to the payroll.
The Tory shadow minister for health has hired spouse Graham Henderson in each of her first two years in Westminster. Between 2005 and 2006, he earned £6,500 from Ms Milton’s expenses as a researcher while the former nurse was setting up her office.
For the tax year 2005-2006, Graham Henderson was employed as Director of Public Health for the East Surrey PCT, wasn’t he?
I must say, it takes an extraordinary amount of dedication to work twice as hard for the British taxpayer. Where did he find the time?
During the following 12 months, Mr Henderson was paid £5,500, again to carry out research and answer e-mails on behalf of his wife…. [Anne Milton said]: “…it would be far to say that I was incredibly busy on the hospital campaign and he did quite a lot of research for me, including on health…”
Note that here (and, arguably, in the Times article), Milton cleverly associates the expenditure with the most popular campaign she has
been involved in sought to exploit as an MP, but she does not actually say specifically that he was working on that campaign.
Was this expenditure directly related to the Save the Royal Surrey campaign? Surely if it was, she wouldn’t hesitate to point it out. She likes to scream “I’m saving the Royal Surrey, me!” as much as she used to enjoy bleating “I’m a former nurse!”
“… as well an answering e-mails and drafting letters.”
How convenient that Dr Graham Henderson was working on something that we the public can’t possibly see audited unless there’s an official police investigation.
“In the last year, my husband has worked for me and he has not been paid for it.”
The tax year’s not over yet. What reassurance do we have that he won’t be paid retrospectively?
And – crucially – what evidence can Anne Milton show us that Graham Henderson did any of the work he was paid for?
I’m going to email Anne Milton today and put a few pertinent questions to her. Perhaps the reply will come from Dr Graham Henderson or – more likely – it will come from Parliamentary Researcher Simon Hill, who – to the best of my recollection – is the only person who has answered (or declined to answer) any of the questions I’ve put to Anne Milton via email.
If you’re new here, you may want to read this first.
If you’ve been following developments (that I’ve been blogging because
I’m a born attention-seeker that’s what bloggers do), then check this out:
Meanwhile, I’ve heard nothing from Paul Staines, he hasn’t blogged about this at all, and I haven’t heard from his
libel tax lawyer for over a week.
Piss or get off the pot, Paul.
UPDATE – In other news, it would appear that the only bloggers Staines threatened over my initial article were myself and Sunny Hundal. Now why do you think that is?
(PS – “…described by TV’s Iain Dale as…” Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!)
Sorry folks, but matters have been greatly complicated by some coward letting this comment-bomb drop shortly after the announcement of a cease-fire:
The bullying point is an interesting one. Whether Tim Ireland intends to bully is one thing. But those on the receiving end FEEL they are being stalked and bullied, so the effect is the same.
Believe me I have tried to enter a rational debate with him, but it is impossible. I have now given up. He has his little cotorie of freinds (he calls my friends sockpuppets, of course) who hang on his every word (yes, that’s you Justin McKeating and the Axe killer John Hirst. Hmmm. Nice) and try to police the blogosphere for him, and report back to Daddy with their findings.
As you rightly report, virtually every post at the moment is about me Guido, Donal or Shane. Is this really of interest to anyone? I know it bores me rigid.
Is it really a comment from Iain Dale, or just some witless troll?
Well, my main problem is that Iain is being very childish about it and refusing to confirm or deny if he made that comment.
So we’re all waiting for Iain.